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Flip Schulke Education Through Photograpy Project: Home

The Flip Schulke Education Through Photography Project

This page documents the Flip Schulke Education Through Photography Project image collection that is available through the library.

At the moment, you may view and browse the small scale contact proofs

  •     Use the numbers beside the index terms below to locate your desired image.
  •     Future plans include a more complete index and a finding aid for the materials.
  •     Please complete the Request Form for JPEG images for educational uses.
    •       NOTE: See the specific usage restrictions below.
    •       Each image will be provided as a JPEG with a copyright notice appended.

This is a small subset of the complete Flip Schulke Photographic Archive, 1950 - 1990, within the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin. 

Restrictions on Use

The images in this collection are intended only for educational purposes. They are not to be used for personal decoration, or shared with others in any way.

The photographer's estate retains copyright. These images are not to be shared outside of the University.

Any questions and clarifications about appropriate use of these materials should be brought to the attention of the Library Director, David Stern, at 

Persons wishing to obtain copies of Mr. Schulke’s images for personal use or publication must contact the photographer’s associate, Gary Truman, directly at

Inventory of materials

A more complete inventory and finding aid will be created shortly.


Subjects (Persons)

  • Ali, Muhammad--1942--Photographs.
    • 308-320, 322-331
  • Castro, Fidel, 1926--Photographs.
    • 265-272, 2544-2547
  • Cousteau, Jacques-Yves, 1910-1997--Photographs.
    • 255-260, 414, 4427, 4435, 4460-4478
  • Kennedy, John F. (John Fitzgerald), 1917-1963--Photographs.
    • 282-294, 321, 2502-2517, 2915-2916, 6841-6844, 7801-7803
  • King, Martin Luther, Jr., 1929-1968--Photographs.
    • 134-213, 214-242, 504-518, 533-541, 565-571, 901-1000, 1053, 2337-2439
  • Koufax, Sandy
    • 263-264, 299, 2586 (baseball) 
  • Martin, Steve
    • 479, 6245-6264, 7782
  • Nixon/Johnson
    • 6576-6609
  • Schulke, Flip 827, 1864

Subjects (Organizations)

  • DOCUMERICA--Photographs.
  • United States. National Aeronautics and Space Administration--Photographs.


  • Automobile racing--Photographs.
    • 460-466, 2560, 3182-3212
  • Civil rights movement--United States--Photographs.
    • 519-532, 542-564, 745-826, 828-900, 8959-9034
  • Space flight--Photographs.
    • 390-396, 2913-2914, 2917-2921, 6834-6847, 7874-7880
  • Underwater exploration--Photographs.
    • 273-281, 297, 418-447, 1865-1951, 2263-2265, 2548-2557, 2561, 2585, 2590-2593, 2599-2898, 2949-3180, 3481-4498


  • Atlanta (Ga.)-- Photographs.
  • Berlin Wall, Berlin, Germany, 1961–1989--Photographs.
    • 379-388
  • Florida-- Photographs. Washington (D. C.)-- Photographs.
  • Stonehenge, UK.
    • 300-307,476,480


  • Mountains? 450-458
  • Gymnastics 467-469, 8121-8123
  • 470-475, 477-486
  • 647-669
  • Peru? 1132-1863
  • 2000-2262
  • 2899-2900 guitar player?
  • 2901 Debbie Reynolds
  • 2907-2912 random
  • 2913-2914 
  • 2922-2926
  • 3362-3408
  • desert 5862-5871
  • chess 7783
  • in bed ??? 7785


Captions for selected MLK images

Captions for the images of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (which were distributed throughout the Library in February):

1)            Coretta Scott King with her children Martin Luther King III, Dexter King and Bernice King paying respects to their father during the viewing. (00149)

2)            Flip Schulke was the only photographer to photograph Dr. King preaching. Flip loved this picture as he felt Dr. King’s hands reflected the power of his words. (00512)

3)            Merlie Evers comforting her youngest son, Van, after his father, Medgar Evers, was assassinated in front of his home. (00515)

4)            Merlie Evers crying at the funeral of her husband Medgar Evers. (00517)

5)            The anger and hatred of these Alabama women is evident as schools were being integrated in Alabama. Flip always wanted to find out the name of the woman in the center of the photo to see if she had changed over time. (00519)

6)            Young men protest against integration of Alabama schools (00521)

7)            Harry Belafonte, actor, singer and civil rights leader, at the funeral of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Notice Coretta Scott King behind Mr. Belafonte. (00562)

8)            Dr. King and Mrs. King march together during the March Against Fear in Jackson, Mississippi. Dr. King and other Civil Rights leaders took up the march after James Meredith, the first Black student at the University of Mississippi, was shot in an ambush at the beginning of his march to further voter rights and Black voter registration. (00806)

9)            Dr. King at Ebenezer Baptist Church. Above all else Dr. King saw himself as a pastor and a father. (00978)

10)          Mrs. Coretta Scott King at Dr. King’s Funeral. This photo appeared on the cover of Life Magazine, Flip said he loved this photo because it captured the strength and power of Mrs. King. Bernice King is in her lap (01053)

11)          Protesters gather during the March on Washington. Thousands erupted in applause when A. Philip Randolph introduced Dr. King as the moral leader of the nation (02370)

12)          Dr. King with his daughter “Bunny” (Bernice). (02383)

13)          Singing a hymn to freedom, hundreds of clergy from all over the United States answered Dr. King’s call to protest the barbarism in Selma. (02389)

14)          A protester wears a Freedom Hard Hat during the march from Selma to Montgomery. (02393)

15)          Dr. King is often pictured with very serious expressions. Flip wanted people to know that Dr. King had a wonderful sense of humor and his demeanor would “light up” when he was with his congregation after church. (02429)

16)          Coretta Scott King and her daughter “Bunny” (Bernice). (02430)

17)          Dr. King at Sunday dinner with his family. (02434)

18)          Dr. King pushes Dexter on the swing in their back yard. (02437)

19)          Dr. King with his daughter “Yoki” (Yolanda). (02438)

20)          Dr. King playing in the backyard with his daughter “Bunny” (Bernice) (02439)

Flip Schulke

Watch a 25-minute documentary about Flip Schulke.

Flip Schulke (1930-2008) was one of America’s premier photojournalists for over fifty years. A native of New Ulm, Minnesota, and a graduate of Macalester College in St. Paul, Schulke moved to Miami in the 1950s to teach at the University of Miami and launch his career as a freelance photojournalist. Through his close friend¬ship with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Schulke became best known as one of the leading chroniclers of the Southern civil rights movement. He covered nearly every major civil rights story in the South from the 1950s until Dr. King’s assassination in 1968. In addition to civil rights photography, Schulke gained recognition for his innovative underwater photography, coverage of the Texas School Book Depository following John F. Kennedy’s assassination, and his decades-long documentation of the U.S. space program. His photographs were published in numerous magazines, including Time, Newsweek, National Geographic, Look and Sports Illustrated, in addition to seven books showcasing his work.

Schulke won dozens of national photojournalism awards, including first prize honors for Picture of the Year and other categories from the National Press Photographers Association and the University of Missouri School of Journalism. In 1986, he was presented with the first New York State Martin Luther King Jr. Medal by Gov. Mario Cuomo. In 1995, he received the Crystal Eagle Award from the National Press Photographers Association for his lifelong documentation of the civil rights movement. In addition to his work as a photographer, Schulke also invented several cameras and lenses that contributed to the improvement of underwater photography. Flip Schulke died in West Palm Beach, Florida, in May 2008.


See a list of his books within the CARLI I-Share consortium. We will soon have a non-circulating collection of his books behind the Circulation Desk.


See additional biographical details from the Washington Post, Saturday, May 17, 2008, obituary:


Flip Schulke, 77, a photographer whose arresting images of the civil rights movement and Martin Luther King Jr. became icons of an era, died May 15 of congestive heart failure at Columbia Hospital in West Palm Beach, Fla.

Mr. Schulke also shot memorable photographs of the boxer Muhammad Ali, pre-Castro Cuba and Fidel Castro, eight presidents and the early astronauts.

He was one of the first photographers allowed inside the Texas School Book Depository in Dallas after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. His photo of the stacked boxes at the window where Lee Harvey Oswald presumably shot the president was one of the defining images of the tragedy.

Mr. Schulke's work appeared in Time, Newsweek, National Geographic, Look, Sports Illustrated and numerous other publications, as well as in seven books, three of which documented his coverage of the civil rights movement.

He first met King in 1958 while on assignment for Ebony magazine. The young Alabama minister, already a national figure, was addressing a rally at a black Baptist church in Miami.

After the event, Mr. Schulke approached King and asked him a few questions about his writings. The civil rights leader invited Mr. Schulke to the private home where he was staying, and the two men, both in their late 20s, stayed up most of the night talking about civil rights. The conversation launched a relationship that lasted until King's death in 1968.

"Outside of my immediate family," Mr. Schulke wrote, "his was the greatest friendship I have ever known or experienced."

Mr. Schulke amassed a personal catalogue of more than a half-million photographs, including 11,000 images of King and the civil rights era. Now housed at the Center for American History of the University of Texas at Austin, it is the largest private collection of civil rights images in the world. Many were taken on assignment for Life magazine, although Mr. Schulke was never a staff photographer.

"When I was photographing civil rights," he told the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel in 1995, "I knew that was history. I was aware enough not to sign any contracts giving up the copyright of my pictures."

Graeme Phelps Schulke was born June 24, 1930, in St. Paul, Minn., where he earned his nickname while competing on the trampoline for his high school gymnastics team. He sold his first photographs at age 17 -- images he had taken of a New Ulm, Minn., parade with his first camera, a Baby Brownie Special. After serving in the Army during the Korean War, he returned to Minnesota and received an undergraduate degree in journalism from Macalester College in 1954.

He moved to Florida that same year to teach at the University of Miami and to begin his career as a freelance photographer. By 1956, he was covering the growing civil rights movement for Ebony and selling photos to Life. It was dangerous work, even for a white photographer.

Mr. Schulke was threatened by white mobs, tear-gassed by police and locked in squad cars so he couldn't document demonstrations. He usually rented Cadillacs while on assignment in the South, he said, because they were heavy and could outrun the old pickup trucks favored by Ku Klux Klan members.

In the fall of 1962, he was in Oxford, Miss., where James Meredith was attempting to enroll as the first black student at the University of Mississippi. With federal marshals confronting an angry white mob, Mr. Schulke got onto campus hidden in the trunk of a professor's car. A fellow photographer was shot and killed by a sniper, shortly after Mr. Schulke urged him to take cover.

On Aug. 28, 1963, when more than 200,000 people converged on Washington for one of the largest civil rights demonstrations in American history, Mr. Schulke documented the marchers arriving at Union Station and then went to the top of the Washington Monument to shoot the massed crowd. Later in the day, he made his way to a spot near the podium at the Lincoln Memorial and shot images of his friend delivering his "I Have a Dream" speech.

A year later, Mr. Schulke took pictures of the King family at home in Atlanta, after the civil rights leader won the Nobel Peace Prize.

In 1965, he was with King during the famous Selma, Ala., march, when several protesters were severely beaten by police. King had invited him to photograph the planning session for the march.

As Mr. Schulke recalled for the Sun-Sentinel, a prominent civil rights leader in the meeting questioned the presence of a white man.

"I have known this man for years," King told his colleague replied. "I don't care if Flip is purple with yellow polka dots, he is a human being and I know him better than I know a lot of black people. I trust him. He stays and that's it."

When the civil rights leader was assassinated in 1968, his widow, Coretta Scott King, invited Mr. Schulke to Atlanta to document the funeral and the family gathering. His photograph of the grieving widow, her face partially obscured by a black veil, made the cover of Life and was named portrait of the year.

After King's assassination, Mr. Schulke found it difficult to cover the civil rights movement. He turned to other photographic interests, including auto racing, the Berlin Wall and underwater photography, often with French explorer Jacques Cousteau.

A pioneer in the technology of underwater photographic technology, Mr. Schulke perfected lenses that eliminated most of the optical distortion produced by the wide-angle lenses normally used for underwater shots.

He moved to West Palm Beach, Fla., after his house in Miami was destroyed by Hurricane Andrew in 1992. Mr. Schulke's marriages to Marlene Schulke, Pauline Schulke and Debra Lex ended in divorce. His marriage to Donna L. Schulke, his wife of 17 years, ended in divorce this month.

Survivors include four children from his first marriage, Robin Chisholm-Seymour of Alpharetta, Ga., Paul Schulke of Yardville, N.J., Lisa Davidson of San Francisco and Maria Cohen of Orlando; two stepsons, Joe Toreno of Los Angeles and John Toreno of Miami; a sister; and six grandchildren.

© 2008 The Washington Post Company


The Complete Schulke Photography Collection Description

Ranging in date from circa 1947 to 2007, the Flip Schulke Photographic Archive features a wide variety of subject matter, including Schulke’s work documenting the civil rights movement as well as his underwater and space flight images. Also included is a portfolio showing the Berlin Wall during the early 1960s. In addition to these well-known assignments, the archive contains lesser-known subject matter of potential research interest such as Schulke’s extensive coverage of motor racing in Nassau, Daytona, and Le Mans during the 1960s; photographs from Schulke’s budding photojournalism career in and around the Miami area from the late 1940s and 1950s; and his work on the 1970s Documerica project, demonstrating the effects of modern life on the environment. Notable individuals documented in the archive include Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Muhammad Ali (Cassius Clay), John F. Kennedy, Fidel Castro and Jacques Cousteau.

The archive includes numerous types of photographic materials; while the bulk of the archive is comprised of 35mm color slides, photographic prints, film negatives, contact sheets, larger color transparencies, and motion picture films are also included. Printed materials include Schulke’s lecture notes and teaching files, business records, tear sheets, and assignment-related ephemera.

The complete Schulke Collection is held as the Flip Schulke Photographic Archive, 1950 - 1990, within the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin. 

For more information about this collection contact

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